MDEQ also recognized the top college team, Ian Hunter Land Arch from Virginia Tech, and the top high school team, The EnviroNeers of Madison Central High School in Madison, Miss.
The goal of the Beach Outfalls Challenge is to enhance Mississippi’s ability to restore and maintain ecological integrity of priority bays and estuaries by providing measurable improvements to water quality and reducing significant sources of degradation.
“The Beach Outfalls Challenge sparked truly innovative thinking among people who care deeply about the water quality of the Mississippi Sound,” said Gary Rikard, MDEQ Executive Director. “We’re thrilled with promising solutions presented by our finalists today and are looking forward to developing and testing them further.”
The Beach Outfalls Challenge kicked off in January, when teams initially registered to participate. After a review of design submissions, a panel of judges named 12 teams as Semi-Finalists in April. The public had an opportunity to vote on the solutions, which factored into the identification of the six Finalist teams. Each team prepared a presentation detailing its solution for judges to evaluate at the Beach Outfalls Challenge Showcase, held today at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach. Winners were announced at the end of the event.
The other Finalist teams were:
MDEQ will soon move to the next phase of this project which includes procuring engineers to fully develop these winning design ideas and building pilot-scale demonstrations to determine each design’s viability for improving water quality.
For more information about the Beach Outfalls Challenge, please visit http://beachoutfallschallenge.org/.